My Not-So-Secret Identity

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_5cLmD8GqnKY/SYuIUi3YjKI/AAAAAAAACrY/meU_3tS3b54/s320/Q4U+smaller.bmp So yesterday I got an interesting email from a guy who wondered why my Blogger profile identifies me as a Christian. He wrote, in part: Are you hoping that the fact that you are not a Jew, Hindu, Muslim or atheist will influence people to read your blog, or to turn away? Are you trying to attract other Christians, or spurn non-Christians? I certainly don’t mind people identifying their religion where it is relevant. My Jewish religion is frequently mentioned in my memoir… but I see no point in identifying myself as a “Jewish phone equipment dealer” or “Jewish writer” on the home pages of my websites. I understand that your agency specializes in the “Christian market,” and that’s fine; and it might be best that your agency work be done...
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On Being a Twitterbug

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_5cLmD8GqnKY/SYEesluru6I/AAAAAAAACoI/QMXHIMXj4go/s200/Q4U+smaller.bmp Phew! Those last three days of posts were intense! I enjoyed talking with you about elevator pitches, but I gotta tell ya, that was a lot of work. So today’s post will be brief. I want to say a few words about my new favorite way to waste boatloads of time stay connected with people. Many of you are already following me on Twitter so you know what I’m talkin’ bout. If you don’t know what Twitter is… well, thank your lucky stars you’re living under that comfy rock, and pray that you’re able to stay there. But if you ARE on Twitter and you’re following me, let me give you some hints about how this works. Other people may be different, but the bottom line is, I don’t do business on Twitter. Just like I don’t do business on Facebook...
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Q4U: What Are You Doing in 2009?

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_5cLmD8GqnKY/SW95Mu9xn1I/AAAAAAAACiw/KG4_8OQhdgY/s200/NewYearsResolution.gif Okay, so I’ve finally decided to share my New Year’s Goals with you. What’s that? It’s halfway through January already? Um, well yeah, but these things take time. Plus, I was waiting on a word from the Lord.* Anyway, this post comes with *ADDED VALUE* for you. Isn’t that cool? Here’s the deal: Not only will I tell you my goals and ask you about yours… I will help keep you accountable to your goals throughout the year. See, it’s not all about me, really! I care about YOU, dear Rants & Ramblings reader. So about my goals. I have pages and pages of notes about how I want to improve my business, service my clients better, sell more projects, be more healthy, be more spiritual, spend more time with my family, etc. But my theory is that...
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Back to Talking About ME

O…M…G… did you READ all those comments from Friday’s post??? What fun! Y’all are so entertaining… you should be, like, writers or something. (If you haven’t read them, scroll down and do it NOW.) So I guess the little mixer was a success, what with all the chatting going on. I’ve read all your comments two or three times through, and have a few things to say: -Yes, poets count as authors. -Those of you who prefer Diet Coke over coffee… hey, I love me a good Diet Coke. It’s the only soda I drink. -Wow there are a lot of hot chocolate drinkers out there! -Emily, did you have your baby yet? -Pam, I love your reality show title, American Midol. -To everyone breathlessly awaiting American Idol with me… you ROCK. -Mikki, you are HILARIOUS....
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Gingerbread and Parties and Snow, Oh My

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_5cLmD8GqnKY/SUZqTYeh3cI/AAAAAAAACQ4/3T9J5e7kq7o/s200/Picture+003.jpg First I want to say thank you to everyone for telling us about your holiday wishes on Friday’s post. It was fun reading all of them! Glad I’m not the only one who wants a maid, a new office set-up, or a new computer. In the end, it’s so great to know that God’s taking care of us and we have all we truly need… and whether or not those material dreams ever come true, we’ll all be fine. So here it is, the start of a new week, and I can’t think of a darn thing to blog about. Don’t you think it’s hard to concentrate this time of year? My work load hasn’t let up and I’m focused on getting a few projects ready for submission and out the door as soon as possible. Plus, the schedule besides work is pretty crazy. This weekend, my...
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An Agent for One Year

That “no blogging on Wednesdays” thing didn’t last very long! I couldn’t help myself, had to post a blog today. You’ll see why… Another milestone to report! Today marks exactly one year since I made my first submission to publishers in my role as agent. In celebration, I wanted to share some impressions of the first 12 months: Expectations: I really had no idea what to expect when I made this leap. It’s kind of like when you’re about to become a parent for the first time. You have a lot of information at your fingertips, and you see people all around you who are already doing it, but you never really know what it will be like until you actually do it. I went into this expecting that it might be a good fit for me, and that I’d probably...
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Milestones

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_5cLmD8GqnKY/SRJ6VXIONvI/AAAAAAAABlY/JX630JVWURQ/s320/bday+cake.jpg My blog just crossed two milestones and I didn’t even notice! First, last weekend marked ONE YEAR since I started the blog. Happy blog-birthday to Rants & Ramblings! Second, my cumulative “unique visitors” count just rolled over 100,000. I sure never expected that! So, thanks to all of you who visit the blog, whether you lurk or actually leave comments and let me know you’re here. You’ve made this a really fun journey, and it’s because of you that, despite the constant time and energy crunch, I persist. Thanks for being part of the fun! And a Q4U… Speaking of milestones. Got any important writing milestones to share? We’d love to hear your story! Rachelle Gardner is a Christian literary agent affiliated with WordServe Literary Group in...
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A Book Release and a Q4U

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_5cLmD8GqnKY/SQI4X649LWI/AAAAAAAABlQ/2pIC13Z84Wc/s400/B%26N+photo+cropped.jpg Congratulations to WordServe client Brian Mackert on the release of his first book, Illegitimate. Here’s a photo of it sitting on the front table at Barnes & Noble. (And NO, I didn’t put it there!) This is exciting for me because after ten months of being an agent, I FINALLY have a book on the shelf. Thanks, Brian! Now a Q4U… Since I’ve spent much of this week discussing and even criticizing some of your contest entries, I thought it might be good to talk about how criticism affects us. What’s the worst criticism you’ve received about your writing, whether from an editor, agent, friend, family member, or a random reader? How did you respond, and what have you learned from the experience? Happy Halloween and hope you all have a fabulous...
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Recovering from ICRS

Recovering from ICRS I’m back! Coming to you “live” from Colorado once again. I know dozens of people have already blogged about ICRS but honestly, when I got home I was SO exhausted and I am so buried with follow-up that I haven’t been able to even THINK about blogging. I’ve managed to get my thoughts together so I’ll talk about my impressions in three posts this week.This was my sixth ICRS (in my earlier years I went to the BEA, Frankfurt and London book fairs). But this was my best ICRS by far. I felt like I got a lot of important business done, far beyond the amorphous value of “networking,” connecting with old friends and making new ones. This was my first ICRS as an agent so it was my “official” face-to-face introduction to the editors and publishers (most...
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Q4U: Stuff We Can’t Live Without

Q4U: Stuff We Can’t Live Without I thought it would fun for everyone to share the things that make our lives easier. Internet resources, technological gadgets… what are some things that make your work life or personal life easier, more organized, or more secure?Here are a few of my favorite things:Jott: When I’m out and about, I call Jott from my cell phone and leave myself a message. It translates it into an email that will be in my inbox when I get back to my computer. A lifesaver!Stuffbak: You put labels on your valuable stuff (like cell phones and laptops) with an 800-number someone can call if you’ve lost your item and they’ve found it. It offers a reward for the return of your item. I signed up for this after the last time I lost my cell phone at the beach. (It was picked up by someone who...
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Ask the Agent: Finding Time to Blog

“If you’re so busy as an agent, I’m wondering how you have time to write a blog too. Is it really not as busy as all the agents claim?” No, agenting really is an all-consuming job. But here’s my secret: I have a nanny for my kids, a housekeeper to keep things clean, I serve PB&J for dinner every night, and I pretty much ignore my husband. The dog sits under my desk so he gets more attention than anyone. Simple enough, right? Leaves plenty of time for blogging. (Kidding, okay?) I always find it kind of funny that we ask each other, “How do you do it all?” We make time for the things we want to do. Some people work full time and are parents and still have plenty of time to watch TV every night; or in your case, you probably do all that plus find time to...
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Off to Florida

I’m heading out to the International Christian Retail Show in the hot and humid city of Orlando, Florida. Thank heavens I’ll be inside with air conditioning most of the time. (My hair hates humidity.) Tomorrow I leave the house at 5am. When I arrive, I’ll head straight from the airport to the Chi Libris retreat where I’ll be taking part in the agent panel. In case you’re not familiar, Chi Libris is a community of published Christian fiction authors. I’m excited to see a lot of friends there, and maybe even make some new ones. Following that, I’ll have a few minutes to check in to my hotel and change, then I’ll be attending the Christy Awards. Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday are packed with back-to-back meetings, breakfasts, lunches, etc. In...
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Independence Day: A Non-Writing Related Post

http://bp1.blogger.com/_5cLmD8GqnKY/SF6rRd5cceI/AAAAAAAABfE/KA3APxmDyxI/s400/fireworks2.jpg Today our country celebrates its independence. I was thinking about how independence for a country is a wonderful thing. But as individuals? Not so much. The Christian life is all about my dependence on God. Marriage is about interdependence with my husband. Parenting is about my children’s dependence on me, and allowing them to be less and less dependent as they grow. Writing and editing and agenting are all about my dependence on others. I can remember some great moments in my life when I celebrated my own independence, like when I moved out from my parents’ home, and when I graduated from college. But generally, there’s not much true independence in my life. Many of us spend a lot of our lives trying to assert our independence, trying not to need anybody, especially...
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Weekend Update and June Stats

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_5cLmD8GqnKY/SGhe2CHJaII/AAAAAAAABf8/qJeTIDBoyq0/s320/ATV+June+08.jpg Do you ever read the blogs of those New York literary agents? I do, and I love hearing about their exciting nights on the town in Manhattan and their cute co-op apartments and their urban child-free lives. But here in Colorado, more specifically, here where I live, you haven’t had an awesome weekend unless you’ve grabbed the kids and the dog, gotten outside and communed with nature. Or attacked it in a death-defying sporty activity. So this weekend I set aside my sophisticated literary agent persona and joined 80+ friends and family members in a camping trip of epic sporty proportions. We’re talking tents, sleeping bags, hiking, dirt biking, ATV-riding, baseball, archery, golf, sitting around chatting, and all the burgers and s’mores you can eat. Not to mention...
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